Spirit A20N at Las Vegas on Feb 4th 2018, engine vibrations

Last Update: November 1, 2018 / 16:13:26 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 4, 2018


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320-200N

ICAO Type Designator

A Spirit Airlines Airbus A320-200N, registration N902NK performing flight NK-711 from Las Vegas,NV to Oakland,CA (USA), was climbing out of Las Vegas when the crew stopped the climb at about FL200 due to right hand engine (PW1127G) vibrations, shut the engine down and returned the aircraft to Las Vegas for a safe landing on runway 26R about 30 minutes after departure. The crew requested emergency services to check the brakes and advised they had had engine #2 high vibrations.

A passenger reported the captain announced they had just lost an engine and were returning to Las Vegas.

A replacement A320-200 registration N643NK reached Oakland with a delay of about 2 hours.

On Feb 10th 2018 the FAA reported the crew shut the #2 engine down following vibrations.

Passengers reported the aircraft started shaking and rattling violently, an odour of burning rubber developed on board.

On Feb 11th 2018 The Aviation Herald received information about a Communication to All Operators transmitted by Pratt & Whitney (PW) on Feb 7th 2018 obviously detailing this event (editorial note: due to amisunderstanding The Aviation Herald initially and erroneously believed our source was identifying this communication to identify the cause for the EAD concerning the PW1127 engines when our source meant to identify this event only). The letter states:

On February 05, 2018, an Airbus A320-200 with PW1127G-JM engines was operating a scheduled flight when during cruise the crew was alerted to high engine vibration. ‘ENG 2 HIGH VIBRATION’ was annunciated on ECAM, and reported greater than 10 CUs on VIB N1.

Initial inspection of the engine showed one fan blade with a missing blade body cover, along with damage to the fan case, ice liner panel and several exit guide vanes. This fan blade had the condition described in Reference 2 and 3, commonly described as a Population A fan blade, however the blade was not listed in Table 3 of the reference 2 and 3 Service Bulletins.

Pratt & Whitney is currently reviewing the manufacturing records of all Fan Blades to determine if any other Population A fan blades were not listed in Table 3 of the reference 2 and 3 Service Bulletins. As a precaution, Pratt & Whitney will require a once through the fleet inspection of all fan blades with more than 750 cycles. The details for this inspection will be published in a Special Instruction (SI).


The FAA has been notified of this event by P&W in accordance with FAR part 21.3

As part of a larger open FoIA request with the FAA The Aviation Herald received information on Nov 1st 2018 stating: "While climbing through 17000 Feet, Engine Vibration #2 Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring (ECAM) message displayed on screen. Initial vibration indicated 5.0 and moved rapidly to 10.0. At same time received a call from the Cabin Crew advising of cabin vibration and burning/smoke odor. Declared emergency and started descent back towards LAS. Performed High Vibration Checklist and reduced engine to Idle Thrust. This action reduced the vibration to 4.0 and engine remained at Idle Thrust for remainder of light. With Right Hand engine at Idle Thrust, cabin conditions improved. Informed passengers about the engine problem after communication with Air Traffic Control permitted. Performed normal landing with stop on Runway for inspection by emergency personnel. Passengers deplaned normally after aircraft parked at gate. ... Maintenance personnel found RH engine Fan Blade cover liberation with damaged found on Fan Exit Guide Vanes and Anti-ice shield as cause of engine vibration. Right Hand engine replaced and all operational tests accomplished successfully by maintenance personnel."

According to the FAA database Spirit Airlines' A320 Neo N902NK is equipped with PW1127G-JM engines.
Aircraft Registration Data
Registration mark
Country of Registration
United States
Date of Registration
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TCDS Ident. No.
Aircraft Model / Type
Number of Seats
ICAO Aircraft Type
Year of Manufacture
Serial Number
Aircraft Address / Mode S Code (HEX)
Engine Count
Engine Manufacturer
Engine Model
Engine Type
Pounds of Thrust
Main Owner
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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Feb 4, 2018


Flight number

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320-200N

ICAO Type Designator

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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